Replacement buoys to be rolled out at Chicken Ranch Beach


Ready to swim in the bay? The waters off Chicken Ranch Beach will soon be safer. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors authorized Marin County Parks to execute a 10-year lease agreement with the California State Lands Commission for the installation, use and maintenance of six marker buoys off the Inverness beach, some of which broke lose in storms two years ago. For nearly 20 years, the buoys helped delineate a safe swimming area, protecting swimmers from boats. It was not until the parks department staff looked into replacing the buoys that it realized they were technically on water bottoms managed by the State Lands Commission. With the board’s approval this week, the department can finalize both the long-term lease agreement with the lands commission and permits it needs from the Army Corps of Engineers and the California Coastal Commission. Chris Chamberlain, assistant director of the parks department, said he expects the new buoys to be in the water by May 1. “We’re happy to have them legitimized, after having gone through all these hoops to get them in the water,” he said. “It was a larger undertaking than we thought it would be, but we are on our way.”